Floating gardens can take many forms including pontoons, floating platformsand barges. They can vary in size from small individual platforms to longerpontoon systems as seen on the River Seine (Paris) and the Chicago river(Chicago). In urban areas they can be placed on non-tidal water bodies such asdock systems, lakes, canals and ponds as tidal areas may damage the gardens structure.
Some are constructed from a plant material floating sub-layer such as waterhyacinths and then have planted flora, fauna or food products growing on top. Others use materials with a natural buoyancy, i.e. plastics or woods, as the sublayer. Floating gardens provide habitats for varied marine/terrestrial species, opportunities for urban agriculture and climate change mitigation. They can also act as connective features linking habitats across urban boundaries (dependent on size/location and species mix).
The strength and extent of the floating garden depend on the construction ofthe raft and the weight of the material placed/grown on it.
To ensure that the floating garden is structurally sound (and flexible todevelopment contexts) the following issues surrounding their engineeringshould be taken into consideration:
- Marine-grade engineering to withstand all weather conditions
- Locking stainless steel quick connect system, making it easy to addadditional gardens
- Fully cross-braced structure for added strength
- UV resistant thermo-fused tough floats
- Concrete anchors secured using weighted guide rail.
Floating gardens provide benefits for water quality and air pollution/climatechange mitigation. They also act as a key additional habitat for a diverse rangeof water based, insect and bird species within urban areas.